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Common Mistakes when Buying Knives

Common mistakes made when buying knives.

It seems almost every household these days has a knife block sitting on their bench. They all have the same general appearance. A block of wood or some other material out of which sticks a wide variety of kitchen knives.

Some of these knives are rarely used, lemons of sorts that pass their time in the block more as decoration than anything. Often only taken as a last resort when the preferred are not available.

Seeing as everyone uses knives one would assume we knew just what to look for when out to purchase. But, like almost everything, there are varying qualities.

First rule should always be -: Beware of the cheapest.

Two knives might look at first glance to be the same but on closer inspection the blade might not extend through the handle or the steel might be inferior.

High quality stainless steel blades should be thick enough for sharpening when required. A flimsy thin blade does not sharpen easily and can snap.

Naturally if the blade is designed for filleting or other flexible function the width will not be that of the larger chopping knives but you can still expect to see a thicker blade that that offered in the cheaper range.

Cheap knives are not designed with a long life in mind. The factories producing these cheaper ranges rely on the fact their product will need replacing.

The second rule must be -: Make certain the blade extends through to the handle.

Poorer quality knives will have a small stump of steel shoved inside a separate handle. In time these will break, not having the required strength for constant use.

Good quality knives will see the visible blade extention run the full length of the handle. The handle will case the blade and be firmly attached with metal rivets.

These common mistakes are often made by new buyers who, had they realised, could have made their first set of knives the only set they ever needed to purchase.

In searching for the very best of knives finding a catering supply outlet is a good move. These outlets generally stock chef’s kitchen knives and sell as singles or set in wrap pouches. Amongst these chefs knives is a small hooknosed paring knife, possibly the only thin bladed inserted handle knife that could be recommended. Once experienced, one never returns to the ‘normal’ paring knife.

In a strange turn from the rules, these small knives are the cheaper version, the more expensive ones, though meeting the normal rules are not as easy to handle. The prices for the two are around five dollars for the cheaper and thirty-five dollars for the higher quality.

Tableware knives should be shown some thought before purchase also. Again opt for the highest quality affordable as a once in a lifetime purchase. Ensure the dinner knives have the necessary serated edge and a high quality stainless steel.

If using a dishwasher steer clear of anything other than the one piece stainless steel knives as dishwasher can damage the handles on joined knives such as bone handled knives.

Remember, we all use knives, they often look the same but only the good ones will last an entire lifetime.